Iola Middle School’s volleyball teams opened the home portions of their schedule with some competitive matches against an old rival.
The eighth-grade A team dropped a pair of tough matches, losing to host Royster 27-25, 25-22, in the A team contest, and 25-19, 25-18 in B team action.
The seventh-grade squad defeated Royster in three sets, 25-16, 22-25 and 15-9. The seventh-grade B team fell 25-11, 25-7.
Eighth-grade coach Terri Carlin praised her team’s effort and execution, despite the loss.
The A team match was well played by both teams, she said.
“We were right in the first set, but just came up short at the end,” she said. “We let them get a little ahead in the second set and came back, but we couldn’t get the lead. The girls did not make many mistakes.”
Scout Rush had five ace serves and two kills. Colbi Riley had three ace serves and four kills, while Katie Bauer had an ace and two kills. Sophie Whitney had two ace serves and a dig. Madison Carlin and Emma Weseloh each had four assists.
“Our passers worked hard at moving the ball and making plays,” Carlin said. “Our setters, Madison and Emma, did a great job.”
The B team also did well in its first outing of the season, Carlin said.
“The girls did a great job of working together,” she said. “Olivia Taylor did an excellent job of moving to the ball to make some great passes. Olivia is a real hustler, and is really starting to anticipate where the ball is going to be. Carley Cescon is playing her first year of volleyball and doing an excellent job as setter.”
THE SEVENTH grade shined on the home court, head coach Stacy Sprague said.
“It was a great night for middle school volleyball,” Sprague said. “It was the girls’ first night in front of the home crowd.”
In the A team victory, Mia Aronson led the way with five aces, while Jayden Jackson had two and Piper Moore and Shaylee Sutterby had one apiece. Moore had six kills and six hits, while Kassy Shelby had a hit and Aronson had three hits.
“Our serving was much better at 67 percent,” Sprague said.
The B team struggled with serving, Sprague said.
“We have 17 girls to play in two matches,” she said. “Learning the mechanics of the game is hard when you have so many girls, and they all deserve playing time. They are making improvements in practice and learning the